Saturday, 10 June 2006

Peanut butter kisses

After the movie I was watching a little of the MTV movie award reruns and happened to catch the best kiss category. Jacob walked past the living room and scoffed that we could outshine every single entry without any effort. I was nodding when they showed the kiss from Brokeback Mountain. We both sort of dropped our mouths at the same time and said maybe we did have some competition.

Because wow. That kiss outshines even the one at the barn a million years ago. Because, well, I'm not a big rough cowboy. Jacob could be. Yum. That's a vision. Even though he looks silly in a cowboy hat. I'm not even into the whole cowboy thing, never was. I like the long-haired deep hippie artisty types. Oh yes. Oh. yes. yes. yes!

Now I have to go. Lots to do, having a small dinner party tonight. Casual. Chicken, potato salad, raw veggies, and I made a peanut butter pie for dessert. Maybe the rest of the kirsch if I can pawn it off on my friends. Probably not, so maybe a nice pinot grigio instead.

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, 9 June 2006

Bonus round.

I cooled off. We spent the morning doing our chores and work and then in the afternoon Jacob came home and we took the kids to see Cars, the new Pixar film. It was great to spend a few hours zoned out in a dark theatre. It's one of my favorite places in the whole world. Pixar never fails to impress me or my kids. Bravo.

I had a fresh outlook when we came out. The kids were on sensory overload. We stopped and picked up a few groceries and dropped Jake at the church and came home to make strawberries and waffles. I got the kids bathed and in bed after a zillion stories and I'm about to go hang out and watch Skeleton Key while I wait for Jake to get home.

More good news came this afternoon-Cole has agreed to let Jake buy him out of this house. So the house will be in mine and Jake's names as soon as his house sells and closes. One problem solved for the time being. Having moved in only 8 months ago I'm not anxious to move again. There aren't so many memories as to ruin it for either one of us, believe it or not, and the thought of uprooting the kids yet again so soon kills me. Jacob and his church are a good fit, the kids have a good school and I'm the freewheeling writer. As long as I have a laptop I will travel. So yuck, I don't get to self-destruct and run back to the East Coast forever, but I finally have a reason to keep living in this city that makes it bearable.

The word of the day, or Beating this to death.

Wow, it's so nice to have a few quiet days without extra people around. Not that I don't love and appreciate my team of bodyguard boys and all but a girl needs a break now and then from the stifling testosterone fumes and we're safe for now.

I hung out my lacy unmentionables on the clothesline and sang silly songs with the kids. I plucked my eyebrows (try doing that with Ben going through your makeup bag and threatening to eat your cherry lipgloss if you don't feed him lunch soon.). We walked to the store and bought chips and were able to eat them instead of watching them disappear into PJ.

We watched Bear in the Big Blue House without a single singalong in off color language.

We played outside without looking over the fence to scan the sidewalks four hundred times in half an hour. Jacob came home early with the pizza and the surprising awful Kirsch, which is a sickly sweet brandy but we made a toast and planned the next Hemingway adventure.

So what's with the word of the day, you ask?


That word was in my email, because some of my readers have reduced their contact to namecalling.

The simple solution would be not to come visit my journal if you don't approve. Simple. Easy. Bye.

And I don't think so.

I can say that I am, but you can't. Hypocritical to the maximum and yes I put everything all out there so I should expect judgement. But your judgement is ignorance in the extreme, because you haven't lived my life.

Had you walked miles in my shoes then you can stand back and speak from your place of all-knowing.

Jake says to ignore it all.

I can't.

Maybe not a good day to read emails. Here's the difference. It's luck. I'm lucky. How could I be lucky? Being smashed into walls by someone you once loved with every filament of your soul hurt like hell. Being passed off to a friend like you were no longer useful stung. It was exactly what I wanted but the undercurrent still stung. Cole didn't start fighting for me until I was long gone. He never gave a shit. Halfway through the euphoria of this whole thing I realized I didn't mean so much to him. Or maybe I did. I have no idea. But is it luck? I'm lucky I ended this standing upright with my heart intact. So yeah.

I'm not spoiled by life. Life has dealt me illness, near-death, life and death, cheating death, and more death. Life has brought me total abandonment and isolation of the worst kind. And then brief respites with the euphoria in between.

You really sit there and think I write about everything?

I don't. Unapologetically I write about what I want to write about and if that forms a skewed picture that doesn't quite mesh for you then I can do no better. Take each entry for what it is, string them together to sort of see the history of Bridget and never forget that it is mostly undocumented history. Some things I will never ever write about because I would rather forget. Wouldn't we all? Everyone has those times. I am not special. I could horrify you with my words but that only dredges up pain for me so what's the point? This is voyeuristic enough.

I have spent my life being judged for what people see on the surface. Long blonde hair and a pretty face will get you almost everything your heart desires. To a point. Being demure and sexkittenish gets you a little further. A lot of times that will bring you the wrong kind of attention. And Ben's right. It's a put-on. A long cultivated put-on that took over my personality sometime shortly after I grew boobs and discovered the power I had over men. A power that was in place long before I ever met Jake or realized that Cole was looking at me, and not the same way he used to when he was 12 and I was 9. This was a new look. And suddenly I couldn't turn it off anymore.

The rest is chance, fate and kismet and you have less control then you might think.

So yes. I make mistakes. A lot of them. I alternate between having an ego that shines so bright people might go blind and being so low I'm under the floor and no one can find me. And Jacob makes mistakes. He is human, though I know I have elevated him to angel status too many times to allow anyone to consider him to be just a man anymore. He had two goals in his life and he has achieved them both. One was to be closer to God and the second was to be closer to me. The means to this end he will struggle with forever. And he does.

And he will never be just a man to me and I will never apologize for that to him or to you.

Or maybe I'm just tired and sensitive this morning. And sad listening to the singing preacher boy this morning singing the bitter songs, like Best of You. I wish he'd stick to happy stuff some days.

    Has someone taken your faith?
    Its real, the pain you feel
    The life, the love
    You'd die to heal
    The hope that starts
    The broken hearts
    Your trust, you must

And now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go saw the chip off my shoulder. Perhaps the Friday afternoon rhapsody will bring about a happier second entry to end a very long week with. Cross your fingers. And think about how much better you would have handled your life if you were in my place. Good luck with that.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

A promise.

I forgot to write an entry today. I'm sorry.

This is what happens when you wake up with a present on your pillow.

An actual gift, not a present like the dead spider presents the kitty leaves for me in the kitchen like little spindley dead trophies.

This present was wrapped in green paper and tied with a pink satin ribbon.

Jake got up and went to work early this morning. I didn't get up until 7:30. I usually am up by 6:30 to work out and jump in the shower before anyone else is up. He left early so he can come home early. He doesn't have Thursday night sessions anymore for the summer and we were planning to toast the Hemingways with Kirsch and pizza, since we finished A Moveable Feast last night.

I called him before I opened the box. He told me to go ahead and open it. Inside a blue velvet box was a beautiful white gold band with Gra Anois Agus Go Deo engraved inside. He asked me to translate.

Gaelic? Gra is love....something something, I'm so rusty...Deo is God?

Close. It says Love, Now and Forever. I wanted to give it to you a week ago but the jeweller misspelled it.

I wouldn't have cared.

You would have. He had Dea instead of Deo. Which I think means Nice. So it would have said Love, Now and for Nice or something like that. Do you like it?

I love it. But, it a wedding band?

No, Bridge, it's a promise.

A jewelry-induced lobotomy of that calibre is a good way to throw off the entire day. It's a good way to throw off an entire Bridget too.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Because all I do is talk

There were some strange offers in my inbox this morning, but no, I'm not going to plot to kill Cole. I think he's digging his own hole just fine. Instead it looks like we'll be playing Survivor and everyone gets to see who can outwit, outplay and outlast each other. I guess I should make a flag. Yes, I can joke. Life is a circus, jokes keep me from falling apart. Resiliency is key here.

And I am nothing if not resilient.

I'm used to waiting for good things. I'm used to having large blocks of time with which to think. I'm a writer, I'm used to exploiting my own emotions for great material. I can wait him out to have control over my own life once again. I can do this.

I got a lot written last night. That after hours of reassurance from Jake that yes, Cole is in jail now and he screwed himself out of even his supervised visits with the kids for the time being and possibly screwed himself out of his job. But none of it matters, what matters is we are safe for now and we'll live each day brand new and just deal with that day as it is given to us. I sound like Jake now. Too funny.

Then he started speaking my language and stepped out of his reverend shoes. He was surprised and disappointed that I even dared to consider the possibility that he would get tired of Cole's shit and walk away from us. I reminded him that we never expected Cole to flip out either so why should I expect no surprises from Jake? Despite popular opinion I have no fucking control over anyone.

That drove him right outside. Fine, go. I've got enough of my own hell to work through, thanks. Let's meet for breakfast at sunrise.

He was back inside before I finished a page. He looked half-crazed. He yelled at me. Strike one buddy, I'm so not in the mood for this.

Is that what you think? Do you think that I'm going to flip out and hurt you like he did?

Shhhhh! You'll wake the kids up Jake. Stop. yelling. at. me. I don't know what I think anymore.

My God, Bridge. I would never hurt you.

He just stopped talking and shook his head. Then he turned and went back out. I followed him downstairs to the front porch and we took our familiar places on the swing. He put his arm around me. I am still so angry. I can't speak. He is shaking. Well, that's new. How to push Jacob's buttons in the exact wrongest way ever.

I'm not leaving you. I don't care if Cole shows up with Satan's army. Fuck him. I will keep you safe.

How noble
. (because I'm on a posturing roll here.)

Bridget. Don't. Don't project this on me. Use me to get your anger out and don't make it about us.

Right. Okay then.

Stop it
. (I do)

I can't. Because it just keeps going and I wish we were far from here. THIS makes me nuts. I hate being scared, I hate being angry. I hate that you yelled at me. In my head I acutally gave you one strike.
He laughed, in a totally half-assed tired way you do when you're incredulous.

I'm sorry. That's hilarious. I only raise my voice when you stopped listening to me. I wasn't yelling at you. I know your eyes when you do that, don't think you have me fooled, Bridge.

You're good.

I know.

Stop it. I can't joke right now.

Then don't lose faith now. And don't doubt me. Ever. If there is one thing I could have given you over the past ten years I would have hoped it would have been the reassurance that I am here for you no matter what happens and I always will be.

Could I have that thing that you just said engraved or tattoed on something?

Could you stop doing that and just believe me?

I do.

You don't. And I don't know how to fix that and it makes me crazy.

Who said you have to fix it?

Because I fix everything.

So you're saying you have your own issues.

No, I'm saying I want you to lean on me with no doubts ever. I know that's asking a lot.

Why, Jake. Why do you let me do this?

Because I love you, Bridget. And you are my gift and I want for nothing more.

Aw geez. I guess I can remove the strike.

So then what should I do if you're not listening anymore. Since I can't yell?

Kiss me instead.

I can do that.

And this is the sort of post you will get after 8 cups of coffee and zero sleep. Now I'm wondering how many days I can just post conversations and get out of writing a real post. Ha.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Sleep and security are overrated.

Guess who went back to jail.


Sorry. I swear when I have no words left and yet if I don't keep writing and talking with my hands I might lose the shredded, worn corner of sanity that I'm still clinging to here.

Jacob just brought me a coffee and it's 8 pm. The kids are in bed asleep at last. Ben played xbox with them for 2 hours straight after dinner. Which he brought because I'm too fucking stunned to move.

Shortly after lunch Jacob decided to go in to his office at the church to make some calls. If it's noisy here he walks over and has relative peace to do his calls there. He was putting on his shoes and the doorbell rang. He figured PJ was early. Cole was standing there. On the front step. Possibly 500 yards closer to me than he's allowed to be by law.

But he didn't see me, I was behind Jake. Jake is tall, all muscles. His shoulders fill a doorway. Cole had no idea I was there. So I stepped sideways right into the living room. Jake went outside and shut the door, having locked the knob from the inside. I could barely hear them. Jake' voice was thin on patience and threaded with a malevolence I haven't heard for a long time. Cole wanted to know if I was there. If I had read his letter, if he could just see me for a few minutes. Alone. His voice sounded scary. I didn't want to hear it. I went upstairs and took the kids in my room and locked the doorknob there too and I called the police.

Because I have had enough of this. Five minutes later and I would have opened that door. And been alone with him.

I'm not sure if he's trying to kill me, scare me or just wear Jake down with his foolishness. Jake says he can outlast whatever Cole brings. I figure Cole will come back next with a gun. Maybe not next month, maybe in 3-4 years, when we're happy and life is trucking along seamlessly again he'll just show up out of the blue and kill us all.

And this feeling is exactly what he wants. A gnawing fear that is never going to go away.

I'm going to have to kill him first. I can't hope for anyone else to do it. I can't picture Jake doing it. He couldn't. He could kick Cole into next week but I'm not sure he could actually take his life.

Me, I could do it now. But the odds of being physically able to before he'd kill me first are so small. Too small for that plan.

And I used to be a good person. When Jake told me Cole had overdosed on pills I instantly hoped he was okay and when I found out he was I was glad. Imagine that.

Denial, fear, shock. It's like picking a fucking bouquet.

Finally, one we both like.

Because I wrote the off-switch entry yesterday and finished it this morning, here's the daily entry. Because I keep forgetting today is Tuesday.

One of the joys of new, every day life is the fact that Jake works from home at the beginning of each week. He's here. He's home! And he loves big lunches and he doesn't wait for me to make them, he just starts. (Cole worked all the time, and relied heavily on Jacob to keep us entertained, safe, and busy. Note to workaholics everywhere, not such a great plan)

Oh, yes. Here it comes. This week's edition of Solitary Culinary Karaoke. Previous entries are searchable.

Outstanding. I come inside and I hear...well, cool! He finally figured out iTunes and is playing, what the..he's playing the new Switchfoot single. Which is free, by the way.

    I've seen the darkest things
    crawling inside of me
    I've seen the monsters come alive
    I've seen the enemy
    The nightmare follows me
    Searching the darkness for a light

    Waiting for daylight to break up this room
    Waiting for daylight to break

    I've been alone in the dark
    I've been dreaming
    and waking up without you
    I've been waking up without you
    for too long

    Back in the tragedy
    I've made a mess of me
    My bitter means my bitter ends
    I see the irony
    it gets the best of me
    dying to be made new again (again)

    Waiting for daylight to break up this room
    Waiting for daylight to break

    I've been alone in the dark
    I've been dreaming, the day, when dreamers are awake

    The sun hits my eyes
    and everything is right
    I've been waking up without you
    I've been waking up without you
    I've been warring alarms til you were in my arms
    I've been waking up without you
    I've been waking up without you for too long

He hinted that it might become his new theme song. Which is so cool because he will pretty much listen to anything but he was holding out and hardly ever listen to Switchfoot, one of my all-time favorite bands.

Jacob, the gentle giant, has crumbled at last. (insert evil maniacal laughter here). I didn't record this one, I was too stunned by his song choice. Sorry Benjamin!

Monday, 5 June 2006

Wishing for an off switch.

Sometimes you know something in your head and it takes someone to say it out loud for it to hit home. I was startled by a conversation between the boys the other night. Oh no, no, not those boys. This was Jake and Ben and PJ and Robin (male) and Loch and Chris (passing through from back home on their way to BC) sitting out on the deck having a beer on the weekend. I was inside, upstairs in bed coming off the vicodin magic carpet ride and watching Only Angels Have Wings-a favorite movie with the best quote ever:
You'd better shut the door! Bonnie's equilibrium is on the loose!

Turner Movie Classics as a channel is like Christmas every day for me, you know.

I thought I heard my name outside. Since my bedroom window is directly over the patio. I muted the movie for a moment. 6 guys having guytalk? I should have tuned in sooner. It was a gift, had it been daytime I would never have been able to hear it with the kids and the birds and traffic.

Bridge has no idea.

The magical powers of the widget strikes again.

She's not responsible.

She wasn't responsible for you either. She doesn't know how to work it.

I don't think she can turn it off.

Yeah, but it's not effective on everyone. Some of us are immune.

Thank God for that. She'd have a harem in reverse.

Look around. She does.


Like an unescapable blend of fragility and determination. Like when you can't look away as you watch an old man in a wheelchair make his way uphill.

Or you look at it as a put-on and refuse to be captivated. Come on.

No, I've been on that side, remember? Harder than it looks.

Is that why you stuck it out so long?

I can't explain it. I love her. I always did. I would have been here 30 years from now.

What if she had never left him?

Then I'd be where he is now, I guess.

You wouldn't..

No not that. But I see it now for what it is. Don't you?

Yeah man.


which part?

Cole had her. He had everything. All of her and now it's gone. She's with Jake now. Cole can never have her again-now it's killing him because he knows she's giving herself to his best friend.

I'd kill myself too. Losing Bridge? Ouch. She's so cute, man.

It's the power of the widget, didn't I say it? Cole said she had it in high school and had no idea.

I would harness that power and use it only for evil.

Give it up man.
(more laughter)

Watch your back Jake (loud laughter)

Naw going to have to change her nickname to the black widow at this rate.

Sorry man.

She can't help it.

That's the scary part dude. The scary spell she has. We're all under it you know.

I'm not. Heather won't allow it. She hates the widget powers. She said it's something to feel sorry for.

She says that out of jealousy.

Keira says that too.

No, think about it. You snap your fingers and 6 guys come pick up your car, like a mentos commercial. How many girls you know can do that in real life? Or drive two men to the brink of ruin almost simultaneously?


She isn't responsible.



Bridge. But I'm not ruined. Thanks a lot.

One, yup.

That was all I could hear. The laughing made it hard. My head spinning didn't help.

Widget is a combination of witch and Bridget put together, a nickname very few people use to my face, it's more a verb to describe whatever I do to the men in my life. What an odd magical power to be gifted with. I'm not amused, I wanted mind-reading, remember?

They moved on, thankfully to talk about soccer and BBQ smokers and more guy stuff and the neighbors put their sprinkler on. I heard what I was meant to hear, I guess.

Later on, I asked Jake if he believed in the widget powers. I rolled my eyes when I asked.

He laughed, surprised that I overheard, but he didn't answer the question.

I reminded him of times when I didn't turn it on. I pointed out the drunken episode, and a few other times when I made no attempt to be anything more than a walking disaster.

That's why it's magic, Bridget-there is no off switch. And that's why none of this is your fault. Do you see now?
I almost think I do. And hey, it could have been worse, for the nickname that meshes Bridget with witch could have been rigid, or even bitch. That would have stung.



It's Monday. I am happily detoxified. I have no more pills in my house because I took them back to the pharmacy for disposal. Jacob is home today writing and working. I am not writing because I'm tired. I'm so tired I can barely string two sentences together so I'm not. I did NOT fall asleep in church yesterday. Okay so I nodded once. I'm mortified.

So much to write.

Did you know that I have magical powers? I didn't either but I'll tell you about that later.

Friday, 2 June 2006


Still in vicodin glory here. Love it. It keeps everything away.

Two things:

1) Cole is in the hospital on suicide watch. This is my fault.

2) I was the worst wife ever. EVER. This is my fault.

3) This is not Jacob's fault because he is spellbound, in love, blinded by his affections. I'm sorry. I can't turn it off with him. I never could, and ruining his reputation is yes, once again, my fault.

Reality settles in now and I try to stitch my world back together with an inch of thread and a broken needle. Life is ugly you know. Life can suck and suck hard. And yet these two stupid men just keep on loving me and I'm worth none of it. None.

I'm also never alone anymore and now I know why. But the drugs are good. I can't write worth shit but they're good.

A sober UPDATE:

Oh my god. Why they let me online in that condition makes me wonder about my friends. Here, Bridget, go take your heavily sedated self and write or surf or whatever and find your happy place and eventually time will sharpen your world into focus and you'll come back down to us.

Right. So I make my way back from space-cadet camp and I'm still not feeling a damned thing but at least I'm less half-baked. I am so lucky to have so much support around me. Everyone who was here and took the kids outside to play while they told me what Cole had done to himself. I hate his actions, I don't hate him and my kids don't deserve to lose him because I fucked up or he fucked up.

Cole wrote letters to us all and when Jake went to see him Cole told him where they were, and could he give them out so we would know he's not a monster? Geez, I know he's not a monster.

I am.

Thursday, 1 June 2006

Hayrides and fireworks and Vicodin, oh my!

Welcome to the throes of Vicodin hell. So glad I wrote this entry yesterday. I'm not writing much today, instead I'm enjoying the amazing works of Chris Never. Go and read. I'm also checking way too often to see if my hardworking friend Jen made director yet!


Jacob's journal. Which he leaves on the table on purpose now because he said he felt so voyeuristic reading mine but mine is so very public and now completely the opposite of what I started out as (the anonymous crafty funky little light-hearted shallow pop-cultureish blog that it was).

His journal is jaw dropping. It's full of poetry and sketches and doodles and entries that build me up and then tear me down again. I would like to have it bronzed.

So when I first picked it up a week ago I flipped all the way back to the summer of 2000 and found the long weekend entry about the hayride, which was why I mentioned it yesterday. It marked a turning point in our lives.

I took Ruth, who was almost a year old, and went down the shore to hang out for the long weekend. While there a last minute hayride was organized. One of my cottage neighbors was happy to babysit for me so I could go, and besides, some of the guys were coming out for the ride. Cole wasn't coming, he was working right through the weekend.

We drove out to the barn and once everyone had hooked up it seemed that Jacob was to be my chaperone/partner because everyone else was a boyfriend/girlfriend thing. Which was fine, we were already best friends. Right? Best friends with no lust. Right.

So based on the quantity of people who showed up some people had to sit on laps.

Hey, no problem. I'm a grownup, I'm a MOM, and he's my friend. It's cool. I'll sit with Jake.

It was cold. He put his arms around me and looked at the stars with his chin on my shoulder.

Eventually his very warm hands made it inside my sweater and under my tshirt. Which was sort of still fine because they were around my waist.

Which wasn't really so fine but no one could see a thing. I wrestled with the feelings the entire time but I didn't say a word.

So his hands never moved, and the hayride ended. And everyone trudged back out to their cars in the moonlight, exhilarated from the fun. Jacob and I were walking together, behind everyone, still back beside the barn. He grabbed my hand and stopped walking and so I stopped and he stepped right in and kissed me. And then he pressed his whole body into me until I was up against the siding. Oh, hell with it.

And I kissed him back with everything I had. I put my arms around his neck and gave it all up right there. No one saw us. No one knew. They had all gone.

Only in the back of my head there was a little voice telling me this wasn't right. Finally we broke apart (no, very very reluctantly we broke apart). I started walking again. Really fast. He kept up and he was trying to talk to me. I wasn't listening. He finally grabbed my arms and stopped me and asked me what was wrong.

What's wrong, Jake? What do you think is wrong?

It's just a kiss, Bridge.

It's more than a kiss Jake. I'm fucking up my life. Your life. Everyone's life. That was a bad idea.

It was the best idea ever and we both know it. Leave him, Bridge. You don't love him the way you love me.

You don't DARE decide that for me.

It's true though, isn't it? Just admit it, Bridge, PLEASE!

What does saying it do for you Jake? Is it an ego boost? Are you trying to win the alpha male battle with Cole or what? What is your problem?

I love you. That's the problem.

This isn't fair.


Fuck off, Jake. We can't do this.

No, YOU FUCK OFF BRIDGE. We don't have to do this. Just say the word. Be with me.


You can but you're afraid. You've got nothing to lose.

Just stop, Jake, okay? Just stop. Keep your promise and don't be hard to be around. I can't keep doing this.

You're going to keep doing this because I KNOW YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY!


That was when he just stopped arguing and put his arms around me and held me so tight I didn't think I could get a whole breath. He whispered that he was sorry. But that he loved me and that was never going to change. I hugged him back and said I knew. And I loved him too but I also loved Cole and I couldn't leave him. I think we held each other for a half an hour. Then he walked me to my car, got in his truck and drove out. I sat in the car and cried for a very long time.

And I never told Cole what happened.

The entry for that night in Jake's journal is rather heartbreaking:

Tonight I dropped all pretense and kissed Bridget because I wanted to. I kissed her like she was mine and she didn't slap me like I expected. She yelled at me afterward because she refuses to admit to herself that her feelings for me are real. As real as that kiss and more. We're both deeply attracted to each other and yet she won't give in, she loves Cole. She's making a life with him-a life he never deserved with her but she gives him willingly. I cannot understand her motives. She is too fragile for his harshness and she should be with me. At the very least I can sleep tonight because she finally admitted that she loves me. Not only with her words but with her soul and a kiss. I can sleep because I can smell her still in my arms. Where she belongs. My beautiful girl.
Aw geez he's dreamy isn't he?
(I know, I know. ENOUGH already.)